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Stereo/cd Question


Well-known member
Nov 22, 2001
colton, oregon, usa
'93 Black 6 Speed
Hello all,

I have a stereo/cd phenomena going on. The stereo sounds like it has static or is fading in and out of 'stereo' mode - although the stereo indicator in the display never blinks like that is really what is going on. I've of course flipped through several channels - with the same results no matter what channel I'm on. It is very sporatic, and doesn't seem to be reacting to bumps, gear changes or anything else I can think of that might trigger it. I'm driving in the same areas that I always drive with no reception trouble in any of my other cars. So my first inclination was that I had a poor antenna connection. However, after playing a CD I'm wondering if I have something else going on. The cd has some 'background' static in it. I've tried several cd's and they all do it, plus I've played the same cd's in another car and they are crystal clear. To really confuse things - The tape player seems to be fine - it plays very clear. So I'm really confused as to what is going on with it now. This is the Bose system. Anyone experienced this ? any thoughts ??


P.S. still working on photos, having trouble with the small maximum file size allowed for posting.
I still bet it's a poor ground, but the Bose system could be dying in one or more of its components. How long has it been a daily driver and exposed to daily use and the environment outside?

_ken :w
The 1993 coupe has 55,000 miles on it - I would think the bose system would be dying with that much mileage would it ?
Ken has a good point on the grounding issue. If you play a cassette and it sounds good but not the radio or CD then it would seem like it is in the radio.

If you would have said all the time I would also consider suspecting the amps in the speaker. They either start to get static sounding and not a lot of volume. Or, as mine did, they click and pop and then shortly after die. That's the capacitors in the amp going causing the click/pop. Then they take out the transistor and it blows. I had one that the transistor literally melted to the PC board.

As for age and mileage. Sorry. My 92 had 57,000 miles on it. Lost 1 amp completely in the rear and the other was weak. Replaced the pair and life was good again, almost. The CD has never worked. It just spits out the CD and says ERR. I've been told that is the transport and it costs about $250 to repair. The previous owner just used an FM-based CD changer and was happy with it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Bose stereo :(

vms4evr said:
Welcome to the wonderful world of Bose stereo :(


Hey Graham, I've got nothing against Bose for the home, I've been using Bose at home for years (I ran thru most of the series in the speaker line :L). But I don't think they're suitable in an automotive environment, at least in the C4s.

My .02

_ken :w
I wouldn't argue with you about their speakers for the home. I've listened to some of them and I like them.
I agree on the automotive side. They don't hold up well.
It will be interesting to see how well they hold up in the C5 generation as the cars start getting older.
So it sounds like the consesus is the ground since the cassette plays good ? Is there a typical location that the ground connection becomes weak ? Like a connector, or fuse box joint or something ? Would you suggest just taking the stereo out and running a ground wire right to the battery or what ? I'm looking for a good spot to start of course, there appears to be a lot of 'stuff' in the wiring department on this thing. I'm used to wrenching on my '68's - quite a bit simpler....

The bose unit is fairly complicated and has several components. In fact, the actual receive is under the passenger dash and the antenna goes in there.

We have had the same problem, and eventually the whole thing quit. Had to have that unit rebuilt, now it works fines.

Try this:

Bose Repair

You even get a discount for being a CACC memeber!

Ok this makes NO sence to me

The "head unit" has 1 pair of lines which are the line level output to the control unit ( the silver box under the dash where the antenna goes into). the CD & the cassette use the same audio pair to get to the silver box...

To start with.....

I would start by cleaning all the connectors at the silver box & the back of the radio. I agree with Ken..check you ground points too. Are there any other electrical gremlins for the car?

the only other electrical problem is that the gas gauge isn't very accurate. It does work, but the car runs out of gas with the gauge still showing more than 1/8 of a tank or so - learned that one the hard way !!!!. Cleaning the connections sounds like a a good idea - I'll give that a try as soon as I figure out how to get at the darn thing. So far I've just been putting up with it - opting to drive it rather than wrench on it. But it is getting annoying, i'm going to have to dive into it soon. Today the CD started out with the static in the background then all of a sudden cleaned up and sounded pretty good. That give any clues to anyone ??

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